Renewal enthusiasm

If you're planning a little home remodeling project, Randy Florke might be one guy to take along for the ride. In "Restore. Recycle. Repurpose" (Country Living, $24.95), he will have you thinking outside the box in no time and helping you to create a new room or entire decor that not only saves you cash but is also good for the environment.

The Iowa native uses lessons on frugality he learned on the family farm and adds tips from his grandmother on everything from saving bath water to reusing furniture hardware. "Nowadays they call that repurposing," he writes. "Then, we called it another day on the farm."

The book moves from room to room through the house, and Florke spools off dozens of ideas on how to decorate "green." In his world, that means repurposing items that otherwise would be headed to the dump, buying and restoring flea market finds and using eco-friendly paints, countertops and flooring. Along the way, he offers facts and tips on energy use, explains the perils of expensive and ecologically harmful decorating trends and tells how to find the least toxic adhesives and building materials. He also touts recycling everything from furniture to building rubble.

And he's not one bit preachy. He comes off like an inspired and gabby friend with tons of good ideas that will jazz up your home and make you feel great about your choices. He includes a glossary of green terminology and offers specific ideas on green products and a resource index. It's all illustrated with great pictures from his own remodeling projects.

Florke's book-ending essay on the importance of embracing the twin goals of good looks and eco-friendliness will send you off to the flea market with an inspired sense of purpose.